By Treena Mielke
June 25 will be a big day in Alder Flats.
On this day a huge makeover for the school yard will happen thanks to community involvement and a Helping Hands matching grant award from Let Them Be Kids, a charitable worldwide program that provides funds for the building of play structures. The makeover is to include new playground equipment, a ball diamond, running track and benches.
Alder Flats Elementary School principal Sean Madill said the Fellowship of Alder Flats School Committee, formed to help bring the community a new play park, applied for the award last August.
He is excited that the school and the community was one of the few recipients selected.
“Alder Flats is one of only 11 projects to be selected from among applicants across Canada to receive a Helping Hands Award from Let Them Be Kids to facilitate the makeover.”
He noted that the new playground will be wonderful for the youngsters and the fundraising efforts will help build a strong sense of community among the volunteers.
The funds generated will not only provide accessible playground equipment, but will create a social hub for families in and around the Alder Flats area, he added.
Money raised from the community for the makeover will be matched by the Helping Hands Award.
“This is going to be an exciting and wonderful day for our school community,” said Madill.
“The children in our neighbourhood are looking forward to a safe and welcoming place to play. We are grateful to all those who are going to be involved and to those who are already involved, for helping to make our new playground a reality.”
The first fundraiser for the playground is a family dance April 16 at Alder Flats Hall. The dance, which will feature the live local band Black Water Crude, is to include a steak supper, and a live and silent auction.
The completed playground is to be named after a fallen soldier whose name is yet to be decided.
Madill is humbled by the efforts of Ian Hill, the founder of Let Them Be Kids and the Helping Hands Award who challenges others to help children in the school community.
“We look forward to building on the many partnerships that have emerged from this project in working with committed individuals such as the Fellowship of Alder Flats community, who have been inspired to make a difference for the improvement of the lives of our students and for their families in the Alder Flats and surrounding area.”
A formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new playground will be held June 29 along with the school’s year end barbecue and awards ceremony. Alder Flats School has about 120 students from kindergarten to Grade 6. The school also offers a pre-school program.
Community groups including Alder Flats Ag Society, the Zone 4 recreation board and Alder Flats School Parent Council worked with Madill to help make the first steps of the project possible.